Composing Variations

PDF to download for this class:

Let’s review the patterns we learned from Mr. Federico


  1. The Café Con Pan pattern uses C major and G dominant 7
    • C major = C E G
    • G dominant 7 = G B D F
  2. The Tresillo pattern uses A minor and G major
    • A minor = A C E
    • G major = G B D

Variations on these patterns:


Compose a variation for one of these patterns, either the Café con Pan pattern or the Tresillo pattern. Work within the chord structure for the pattern you choose using the notes for each chord to compose your new variation. Compose a variation of the same length as the original patterns – 4 measures of 6/8 or 4/4.

As you are composing, consider the following:

  1. Using different inversions of the chords
  2. Changing the direction of the arpeggios
  3. Maintaining the rhythmic structure of the pattern